2015 in review

Fascinating stuff folks.

 

Planning some things for 2016. Won’t go into details just yet but 2016 is going to be my best year yet!!

 

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Emotional eating and how to beat it

We ALL know it’s true.

Some of us have a hard time remembering/being able to eat when they are stressed. Most people I have spoken to though have problems with emotional eating and bingeing. I used to…

I get asked all the time so I figured rather than type it out for the five hundredth time this month to just write it up 🙂

When I first started I would ask myself EVERY SINGLE TIME I ate WHY I was hungry. Was I bored, tired, thirsty, hungry, frustrated, celebrating, happy, angry, or any combination of the above? It was NOTHING for me to have a 7000 calorie “emotion meal”…. It didn’t take me long to realize that I only had a few reasons why I was eating. after a few weeks of just acknowledging that I was eating for reasons other than hunger I told myself no eating because of “tired”. So if I asked myself WHY and the answer was tired I would go to bed. After a few weeks I picked another reason and cut that off the list. Every few weeks (or longer if it was particularly hard) I would substitute something, for “bored” I would substitute an activity. For “thirsty” I would drink a big glass of water. For “lonely” I’d use the phone a friend method.

Most of it though was simply determining the motivation behind the behavior.

It took me a long time (probably over a year) to get to the point where I no longer have the DESIRE to eat my emotions. It was HARD, every day every moment kind of work that took a LOT out of me at times. But it was GOOD! Because now I realize that I CAN eat to celebrate with friends and I don’t have to eat an entire plate of junk, I can get a few raw veggies from the tray and just stand and fellowship and spend time celebrating and not obsessing about HAVING to eat even though I am not hungry.

A LOT of it was also learning how to tell people no. In social situations when people offered me food it used to be VERY hard to say no. I now say “I appreciate you including me but no thank you” or “I am glad that YOU enjoy it” one of my favorites at work is “I am enjoying your enjoyment of that snack but”. When they insist I say something to the effect of “no thanks I don’t need that right now” and change the subject.

In the beginning I would have people REALLY push back. I think that some people feel that my refusal of their “treat” means that I am judging THEM for having it. I am just very consistent in saying no thank you.

In my head and to others I say “I DON’T eat that” rather than “I CAN’T eat that”. It helps with my mindset and I don’t feel like I am depriving myself because I CAN’T have something.

Willpower is a muscle like anything else. You wouldn’t START lifting weights and get a 500# back squat in your first week (unless you were some kind of freak of nature). So you shouldn’t expect to start working your willpower and just immediately be some kind of rock star.

Bulk cooking… the ins and outs in my house

I was talking with some friends about bulk cooking and they were telling me how long it took and how horrid it was and how they dreaded their weekly cooking. They talked about how much they LOVED having the cooking done, but how much they procrastinated over it and didn’t like to start. They were glad /when it was over, but beginning was a chore!!

I took a sip of my coffee and replied “it takes me about 30 minutes of work to get my food prepped and in the oven for the week”. This of course meant I had to expand on my answer. Because if my lovely batch cooking guru friends took so long to cook maybe you guys are too! So I told them I would share some recipes and some tips.

And here goes. My list of tips in no particular order.

1) Keep it simple sweety

I make two or three dishes for the week. I make one for “breakfast” before I go into work. One for “lunch” for while I am at work. Then I usually order eggs and veggies from the cafeteria before I come home from work.

I might make a baked something (like baked apples or paleo pumpkin pie or something) if I am feeling the need for sweets.

2) Get someone to help with the prep work.

Most weeks I do my work myself. But sometimes I have one of the kids help me with the chopping. Sometimes I SUPER cheat and buy stuff already chopped! When I do my own prep I tend to choose more of the veggies that can get by with just a scrubbing rather than a peeling (that’s so much faster). I ALWAYS leave my food in rather good sized chunks, because I find they don’t get as mushy.

3) Combine prep work.

If you are cooking three dishes that use chopped onions, chop ALL the onions at once. Don’t go through and chop all of this recipe, then all of that recipe. It saves time to do things together. Also, if you do it all at once you get all your crying out of the way 😉  If you are making two dishes that use browned ground beef cook it all together. It will save pans and save time.

4) Pre-prep what you can. 

If I am making something for dinner tonight and I know when I cook tomorrow I am using the last of these bell peppers I will chop them all at once. It kinda goes into tip 3 as in combining prep work. I ALWAYS have a bag of chopped onions in the fridge, because I use them in almost every meal. If I see that the bag is starting to get to that NEED TO BE COOKED NAOW stage I put it in the freezer for soup. Most veggies can be chopped and frozen and added to something like stir fry or soup. And it goes back to combining work, you are already chopping half a pepper or onion for THIS meal, it’s not really that much harder to chop the whole thing for the next meal.

I buy some stuff pre prepped. Radishes I can get a bag for $1 that’s about a cup or so of veggie and it’s already julienne sliced. Those are such a frustration to me it saves me a lot of pain. Mushrooms I buy the package that’s already chopped, it’s only like 10 cents more expensive than the not chopped, but it’s worth WAY more than 10 cents for me to get it already chopped.

5) Remember that BORING isn’t bad.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I have lost a substantial amount of weight. And you also know (especially if you follow me on facebook) that I eat a LOT! I keep it simple and eat the same thing for lunch every day. Next week I make something different. I include PLENTY of different veggies in each dish and I make sure to rotate my veggies to get enough variety.

6) My favorite meals in the winter are SOUP!

You can make an endless variety of soups just by changing up the spices! I make soup probably three weeks out of the month in the winter months.

7) Your oven and your crock pot are your friends!

I love doing the prep work and then setting the automatic timer on my oven and letting stuff cook while I run errands or play with the dog or shop or whatever! And my crock pot is my bestest friend (like seriously if they ever pass a law that says I can marry my electronics it’s a close tie between my crock pot and my heating pad!). I absolutely ADORE tossing a few things in and turning it on and LEAVING! (I also use my crock pot a lot when I travel, it’s nice to set up a good dinner and then go out for your day on the town and come home to a freshly cooked HOT dinner. It’s like having a servant at home. Just serve up some rolls or something for the kids and I am set!)

8) Get the right tools.

I can slice up a giant bowl of onions or potatoes or whatever with my mandolin slicer in about 2 minutes flat. I eventually want to get a food processor with a slicing attachment but that’s for another day 🙂 SHARP knives and a GOOD peeler will cut your prep time in half (or more).

9) Your set up will make your cleanup.

When I get ready to prep I make sure that I have an empty garbage can, and a sink fulla hot soapy water. I can peel straight into the garbage can and then I can immediately wash my dirty dishes. Most things if you get to them right away just need a swish in the hot suds and a rinse. And if your garbage can is empty you can pull it over to the sink and throw the chicken guts in it or the slimy wrapper from the meat or whatever. It makes it much easier to clean up.

10) I spend about one weekend a season prepping seasonal foods. 

We call it pumpkin meth lab. I spend about three hours once a year (not counting cooking time) prepping all my pumpkin for the year. In the summer it’s apples. (although I need to prep a LOT more apples. We went through 2 bushels of apples in about five weeks this summer… sigh)

11) MULTITASK!

I will put something on to cook, then go switch the dryer. Or something else. This may skew my timing a little because I don’t count the time I am doing other things (like working on a craft or reading or laundry or whatever) I only count the time ACTUALLY standing at the stove working on stuff.

Ok so as I go through some recipes I may end up adding more rules up there. I went back through facebook and found pictures 🙂

EVERY week I make a “breakfast casserole” and something for lunch. I use a generic ratio of things to make it, so I will just post the generic recipe here and rough estimates of things. I never measure anything because this is usually whatever I have left over in the fridge odds and ends of veggies.

Breakfast casserole (generic recipe)

1-1.5 # meat (ground beef or sausage or chicken)

8-10 eggs

some onion (roughly 1 onion chopped)

some other veggies (I don’t know how to tell you how much. I have a 6 qt pan that I fill with my breakfast casserole. I always make sure that I have some carby veggies (like turnips or sweet potatoes) because otherwise I don’t get enough carbs and I am a cranky Jenn)

(for example this week it was turnips (one med), parsnips (two smallish ones), red onions (one med), radish (a small bag of julienne sliced that cost me a dollar), spinach (about half a bag) spices (cayenne salt pepper garlic))

So I will prep all my veggies. That usually takes less than ten minutes to do all the veggies for all the dishes I am going to make. Then I will toss the meat/onions in the pan (or brown the meat while I prep veggies, depends on if I am hurrying or not).

Then I go do something else. Like start the pan with the other dish or go read or play with the kids or whatever.

Come back to it when it’s done and add the veggies. I mix up my seasoning into my egg mix and pour it over the top and put it in my oven. I try to make it so all the dishes can go into the oven at the same time. It cooks for an hour ish at 350 ish.

(that’s breakfast casserole on the left and soup on the right)

Last week I had sausage and peppers and onions for my lunches and a “breakfast casserole”.

sausage and peppers and onions

1 package hot itallian sausage

4 variously colored peppers

one onion

shrooms (optional)

large can of tomatoes

put the meat on to cook while you prep the veggies. I usually pour liquid in with my sausage links so that I don’t have to watch it as closely and it can be on high heat. My favorite is when I have coffee left in the carafe. I use that (maybe a cup worth? enough to cover the bottom of the pan by about 1/2 inch). If I don’t have coffee I will just use water (I don’t go out of my way to make coffee if there’s no left overs.)

Once the meat is done slice it into chunks. Dump the peppers and the large can of tomatoes on top and use your spices. This usually gets salt, pepper, garlic minced (I buy it in the jar…. save time where I can), cumin, italian seasoning (it’s a mix with oregeno, rosemary, basil, thyme and a bunch of other stuff) chili powder, crushed red pepper.

It cooks at 350 ish for an hour ish. Since you cooked the meat already you are just letting the flavors mingle.

Total time cost that week was about 30 min (for both dishes). 10 for prepping veggies and getting the meat going. 15 for opening cans and stirring occasionally and getting it in the oven. 5 for putting it into single serving bowls in the fridge.

my coworkers always say this smells like supreme pizza. If I were making this for home the kids would get garlic cheesy bread as their side dish.

Another one of my favorite lunches is chicken breasts and frozen veggies and a sweet potato.

This one is AMAZINGLY simple and quick.

Take a 3-6# bag of chicken breasts and toss in a pan. Then I season it. Sometimes I just pour a bottle of hard cider on it. Sometimes I will splash it with balsamic vinegar and EVOO and spices (salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne, etc). Cook it at 350 ish for an hour ish. I usually will also do 4-6 (depending on size) sweet potatoes at the same time. Scrub them up and put them in a pan after you’ve poked a couple holes in it.

This is the only time I do not single serve size my food for storage for the week. I just toss both things in their own gallon sized baggie and put them in the fridge. When I am ready to go to work I will take a half to one sweet potato and peel it and chunk it (takes less than a minute) fill the bowl 3/4 of the way with frozen veggies (whatever mix I wanna use) then top it of with a chicken breast or two that I chopped. (I can generally get the entire bowl ready from getting stuff out to putting it away in 5 minutes). Then I put a couple slices of kerrygold butter and maybe some more salt and pepper.

This was when we had corn on the cob for left overs. I just sliced it and grouped it all together. On weeks I do this I have a little more variety because sometimes I use different mixes of veggies.

total cook time. Ummm. 3 mins prep. Then 3 mins to get every thing in the fridge. Then 5 minutes daily to prep a bowl. I like this option in the summer because then I set the oven to turn itself of and Ezra and I go for a run. When we get back I can take the stuff out of the oven and deal with it.

Going back to this picture. Another soup.

This was 3 pounds frozen chicken. Tossed in a pan covered with hard cider. Baked for an hour ish at 350 ish.

Take it out and coarsely chunk the chicken.  Put it back in the lovely cidery chickeny juicy mess.  I think this was a half head of cabbage chunked. A bag of frozen veggies (carrots and cauliflower and broccoli and squash and green beans and whatever) some shrooms and a couple cans of diced tomatoes. With spices. Salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder, crushed red pepper.

This took like ten minutes work. 3 minutes to get it in the oven. 5 to pull it out and chunk the chicken and cabbage. Then MAYBE 3 more to dump some bags of frozen veggies and cans of tomatoes and spices.

another soup

3# chicken. I think this one got rice wine vinegar and EVOO and spices and baked for an hour ish at 350 ish.

Took it out and added a bag of broccoli slaw and mushrooms and maybe some peppers (I don’t really remember) some more vinegar, a couple bags of home made chicken stock and spices (probably hot stuff, white pepper, crushed red pepper, chili powder and stuff). cook it like that for an hour ish at 350 ish. Soup is sometimes something that I make while I am sleeping. Cook the chicken and then get it to the soup stage and put it in the oven (or crock pot) on the lowest setting for 6-8 hours.

another soup made just like the rest. This one had a bag of frozen normandy blend veggies and some frozen spinach and homemade chicken stock. Took about 10 min to toss together.

(this is what I said on facebook about it  it’s chicken and onions… and a packet of broccoli/rice/cheddar stuff… and some frozen squashes and corn and spinach…. and LOTS of spices)

another soup. Ground beef and squash and carrots and maters and whatnot. Made like all the other soups on the page.

https://alienjenn.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/greek-ish-stuffed-peppers/

this one took a little longer because I was taking pictures of every step. But it was still only about 45 min actual work.

https://alienjenn.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/batch-cooked-italian-beef-and-root-veggies/

this is one I like to make when we travel. It’s nice and simple and you really can’t OVER cook it. Takes less than 5 min to get it in the crock. Long cook time but you don’t have to stand and watch it. Then the root veggie sides took maybe 5ish mins to get in the oven and then MAYBE 10 mins to package it for work.

How I got my kids to eat new foods and LOVE it!

I end up talking fairly frequently about how I got my kids to eat so well and to enjoy cooking so much. My youngest son used to eat only 5 or 6 things EVER… and “new” foods would cause him to have severe panic attacks (I should mention he has asperger’s… ) I worked with him for a VERY long time (it took maybe 3-4 years) and now eats whatever is put in front of him and actually ASKS to try new things… and he goes through the recipe books to find new recipes…

So at first I told him he just had to have a spoon of “new thing” placed on his plate… he didn’t have to eat it or touch it or smell it or look at it… but in order to get seconds of anything he needed to allow the “new” to be on his plate for the entire meal….

After a few weeks I started having ONE meal a week that was all new thing… I served it with something I knew he would eat (like bread or crackers or something so I knew he wouldn’t go hungry)…. in order to get seconds of the thing he liked he had to have ONE BITE of the new thing… he had to swallow it… couldn’t spit it out or scream or yell or anything… after a couple months I did that several times a week… after a couple months (maybe 6?) EVERY dinner was “nonstandard”…. with something he liked (like bread or noodles or crackers) as a side…

The next step was that he had to have three bites to get seconds of his treasured foods…

Throughout all of this I kept having him help me in the kitchen… picking the recipe (he knew he would have to try it and by this point if he had a hand in picking out the ingredients and chopping things then he was better about trying the new thing)

I kept praising him intensely when he successfully tried it and didn’t gag…

After a while it got to where he had to have an entire serving…. for a while I would let him separate the components (like if it was soup he could eat the potatoes and then the meat and then the carrots etc) the next step was taking an entire spoonful as it was served and not separating it…

 

He found a few things that were added to his repertoire as new favorites… and now (this took probably 3-4 years of EVERYDAY work) he will eat what he is served… he LOVES new things (we had acorn squash the other day…. he saw today that I had acorn squash on the counter and when I told him it was for when we go to richmond he was SO EXCITED)

 

In the beginning there were a LOT of nights where he had a slice of bread for dinner… or a handful of crackers… and then we would just sit and cuddle after dinner…. I explained the rules at every increase… and I was SUPER consistent… I even held to it when we went to buffets and stuff (you have to eat at least one serving of veggie before you get seconds of macnchz)…. CONSISTENCY is key  and gradually increasing the expectations

 

Some people talk about hiding veggies in other foods but I don’t feel that deals with the root of the problem. Kids need to be able to accept a new food and learn how to politely decline. Kids also need to learn how to choose healthy foods, otherwise they end up growing up and moving out and without the food police to watch over them they continue their unhealthy habits and gain a hundred pounds and become diabetic (obviously that’s a tad extreme but you understand my point.) I always tell my kids exactly what is in a recipe. And it’s gotten to the point when we go out to eat my kids CHOOSE veggies and healthy foods over the other things.

2014 in review

I have put off the writing of this review for almost a month now. Every time I think about it I get all sad and upset. Honestly? I get frustrated because I thought there would be so much more. It’s very difficult for me not to be hard on myself. It’s difficult for me to remember that I have been SERIOUSLY ill 3 times (to the point where my doc BEGGED me to be hospitalized once), I’ve been on prednisone three times (which used to be an automatic thirty pound gain EVERY time). I’ve had two severe ankle sprains and a strain in my wrist which has me currently in a cast.

So let’s start with some stats:

stats

And some pics:

I don’t understand how I am BIGGER in the now pic (in almost every measurement) but I look so much smaller… the only thing I think looks worse in the now pic is my biceps… they look less firm… but my shoulders… my belly… my ankles and neck… I don’t understand

And now some stuff:

first one handed handstand (wall supported)

First mud run 482/490 4.77 miles (from GPS) 2 hr 20 min

 

participated in the-tenacious-test-of-toughness

PR’s on the three major lifts

Bench – 100

DL – 200

squat – squat 135

Found my clavicle

human flag on a human pole – held for maybe 2 seconds?

gave shakespeare a piggy back ride…. jogged a good bit

shakespeare stood on my shoulders…. like STOOD….

climbed a crapton on the playground

climbed (ok crawled) across the top of the monkey bars

forward roll

slackline – two steps

CNF2014

volunteered at a spartan

first Spartan race

hiked the entire state of Maryland

my first full 5k ran on a treadmill… the second 5k I have completely run…. well… third EVER…. second this year

ALMOST three million steps….

this was new years

new years 2014

dec 2014

SO CLOSE!!!!!!!!!!!

We shall see what 2015 entails

Spartan! (and weekend)

I have sat for the last few days and tried to wrap my head around the adventure we had this weekend. I have started and erased probably twenty different posts because I just can’t figure out just the right way to tell you all about the awesomeness that ensued. I suppose the best way for that is to start at the beginning. But what really is the beginning? I have to go back a bit for that.

I was visiting with my friend Heidi. There was good coffee and laughter and many stories. Among them the story of our friend Teros. She told me of the trials he had attempting his Spartan race; of the utterly non-helpful (and downright rude) volunteers, of his despair over failing, and of the thought of the Fenway Spartan.

 

Jokingly I said, “let’s do it!”

 

I had been considering the Super Spartan at Wintergreen (the end of Aug) to be my first Spartan race. By this point I had decided that between the injuries and illnesses and setbacks to my training over the summer that I wasn’t going to be able to RACE, but looking into it I would still be able to VOLUNTEER and get a free race entry. FREE is much more my style. Oldest boy and I talked about it and decided that it would be a good thing to do. We could volunteer and get into the Spartan Community, and earn a free race to go and help out our friend.

 

At this point I had never really interacted with Teros online. But he is part of my nerdfamily. There were going to be other friends going and I got excited! Plane tickets were purchased, vacation time at work arranged and everything was in order!

 

Then camp in sept and afterwards some pain that I had been having in my abdomen/ribs culminated in a trip to the ER. Dealt with this for a month and finally ended up needing to get steroids and lidocaine in my ribs (OUCH!). We still aren’t sure what caused it (or why it’s coming back) and I have to follow up on it. I was debating even going to Boston. I didn’t feel that I could race because the pain was a serious issue (for those of you that know me, if it’s bad enough to send me to the emergency room it’s pretty bad and I feel like I am going to die by that point. I have a fairly high tolerance of what I can do and this kept me out of the gym for TWO MONTHS!!)

 

My good friends though convinced me that it was important to come to Boston and at least join the ranks of the cheerleaders and that it would be fun! Nerdsgiving we were calling it! Our nerdfamily was getting together to celebrate and cheer and support each other! By the end of it there were more than 30 nerds that congregated in Boston that weekend. We were broken into two groups, the Framingham nerds and the city nerds.

 

Finally the weekend of the race arrived. I worked tue/wed/thurs nights (and because of a phone call/miscommunication I ended up getting up at 1400 on thursday before work). When I got off fri morning I went home and finished packing and went to get my oil changed (and new wipers!) and breakfast with the boy and whatnot. Then we headed to the airport.

 

 

I got a small rest at the airport (closed my eyes but didn’t sleep) for maybe a half hour.

 

Waiting was hard and I was super grumpy

Eventually we got all boarded and ready to fly. It was Jeff’s first trip that he remembered (he flew as an infant once).

 

It was a nice uneventful flight and I got about a half hour nap in. Until the flight attendant woke me up to ask me if I wanted pretzels. SIGH.

 

We landed and got to the drive just as Jim and Christi were pulling into get us. It took us FOREVER to get to the train station where we were picking up Heidi and Graeme (the kinda crappy thing though is that we learned when we were leaving that there was free transportation on the metro from the airport to that same train station)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah well, live and learn I suppose.

 

We ate first dinner

 

 

 

 

 

Once their train got in we headed back to the hotel for second dinner.

 

 

 

I was pretty much useless by this point. I had been up since 1400 the day before and it was now about 2200. I took my happy little heinie off to bed.

 

The next morning I got up and headed downstairs for breakfast. I have no pictures of how awesome the food was. You just have to take my word for it. We went and did some shopping for nerdsgiving and then I did my prep because I knew I would be crazy tired after the race (and I was right).

 

I found broccoli the size of my head.

 

 

 

did some prep and did the boys hair

Our start time was 1530 and so we planned to leave by noonish to get there ontime. One guide (from the spartan website) said to be there 2 hours early. And another guide (from another place on the spartan website) said an hour and a half. We got through the massive (to me anyways) Boston traffic crud and got there at about 1330. Checking in and waiting for the rest of our cheering/racing squad was COLD. It felt like it was 90 below zero, but it was really in the high 30’s. Luckily it was sunny.

We were kinda excited in the car on the way there

 

 

 

 

 

I had a little snack.

 


I LOVE these things

 

 

(Teros (with the beard) Jeff (in the back) Ravnos/Ian (in the brown hat) Jim (grey hat) Christi (front and center) Kitbit/Melissa (the shawty in the brown jacket) and Me (in the NF shirt on the right))

 

 

We went and hung out with some of the nerds who were at the bar across the street, partly to warm up some and partly to use the bathroom. I miss my nerds

 

 

There was some CRAZINESS at checkin. When Jeff and I checked in the guy said we needed one white band with our start time on it for the group (when we REALLY needed one per runner!!) and so Jeff didn’t get one. It’s a good thing though because it turns out that through some weird twist of fate Teros didn’t get a white band either. But we didn’t know how important that was until later.

 

We waited and waited and froze and waited and froze!

 

 

Wandered inside of Fenway in the common area a while. It was SUPER crowded

 

 

At 1515 they called us to come to the gate and line up. Heidi had gotten to the start ahead of us and had come back and asked me if we were starting. When she asked if we were starting now I said yes because I thought we were!  We started to go through the gate to head to the start line when we learned that EVERY runner must have the white start time band. Jeff and Teros ran back to the start. There was a wall before we ever got to the start line! This didn’t even seem fair! We hadn’t even STARTED the race yet and there were obstacles?! I didn’t realize it was going to take them so long and I guess it’s my fault that we got so separated. Sorry guys.

 

Finally Jeff and Teros make it back to us and over the wall and we head to the starting line. We come around a corner and see the monkey bars and it looked like that was going to be the first obstacle. Uh NO. This was such a loopy twisted course that I got so insanely turned around and really don’t remember much!

 

I am going to write this up with a list I compiled and talked to friends about. I am not sure if this is the ACTUAL order of things or just an approximation. But it’s what ya got 😉 .

 

The first obstacle was the bear crawl. Over knobby stabby hurty ground glass feeling concrete. They had these bungee cord ropes criss crossed across the walkway that you had to go under.  We had to go up several ramps (felt like we turned the corner four times maybe?). I had my backpack with my camelbak hydration bladder (good thing because there was only 3 water stations and I ended up drinking about 2.5 L) and it kept getting caught on the ropes so after a little while Jim took it from me. It’s a good thing I thought to brace my ankle that I had injured a couple times earlier in the year because I started the day with it achy and stiff. By the end of the bear crawls it was burning and painful.

 

 

People tell me that the monkey bars were next but I remember other obstacles first. Not that it really matters. I failed. I can’t do monkey bars to begin with and wasn’t even going to try. Jeff saw some other people walking across the bottom with people sitting on their shoulders to do them and we thought we could try. It WOULD have worked except for the monkey bars weren’t all the same height and Jeff is SHORT. Also, they were GIANT and I couldn’t wrap my hands around them. Jim rescued me after the I couldn’t reach the third bar and helped me down without falling.

 

This is the part where I tell you all that I owe you burpees. I will count them as I go. Our team wasn’t really stopping for them, and I feel like I have cheated. I didn’t do burpees here. I will do them though (probably next week once I get back to being able to move my arms well).

 

We came out on this wall and rested a bit. I don’t know WHEN it was but I am putting it here

 

 

 

 

So next on my list was the jerry can carry. Girls got to carry one can with water and boys had to do two. I said at the beginning and I will say again I wasn’t worried about the “carry this thing” kinda obstacles. I knew going into it that I could carry anything they threw at me. We had to carry a jug of water (like the kind you keep water in your car in… maybe 8 gal… maybe 10??) up down around and through. I just hoisted it up on my back and slogged on. The worst part of it was that some how it leaked on me and spilled all down my back so I was soaking wet (which didn’t really bother me after the initial shock until later when we were in the bar.)

 

The other carry thing was the “spartan pancake”

 

 

boys got 40# and girls were 20 (or 25?)  I just sat it on my shoulder and did my stairs. More up. More down. More around. It was a sandbag and it balanced quite nicely.

 

Then the overhead medicine ball slam. We each got this medicine ball. Which was like a half full basketball sized thing. I have no idea what the men’s size was but mine said 15. We had to lift it from the ground and stand up and hold it overhead then put it back on the ground. I have TERRIBLE aim and was terrified that I was going to drop it on my foot so I just sat it down. 25 of those and we move on!

 

Down around up some more. (Can you sense a theme here?) and we go into a locker room. Not sure whose (visitor or home I mean.) Hand release push ups. 25 I think. On the knees (because I can’t do full on push ups yet. I will by the next spartan though.)

 

Down around up some more.

 

Ian and Jeff waiting for us at one point.

 

I have the atlas ball on my list next. There was this concrete bit. Looked like they had made it in a bucket about half full. We had to pick it up, carry it across the deck, then do 5 burpees and carry it back. I helped Teros’ sister lift hers and carry it over then came back for mine. Did my burpees and then carried it back. Also helped Teros sis pick hers up. I have no clue how much it weighed. I just know it was intensely awkward.

 

UGHSIGH I have next on my list banded jump rope. This was crap. You get this battle rope, I think it’s about an inch around. It was WAY TOO LONG for me. And it was easy to grab at the ends of it where it was taped. And you are supposed to jump rope with this thing. AND they make you put an elastic band around your ankles. I could jump and I could flop the rope but I couldn’t coordinate the two. Failed obstacle number two.

 

Next the traverse wall. This long wall with blocks set at random angles and heights (some were close to the ground and some were close to the top). You weren’t allowed to grab the blocks at the top. And the randomness of the ones at the bottom was bugging my ankles. My team just kinda walked past it. Failed Obstacle number three.

 

There were some stairs. Fitbit said it was roughly 50 flights (frankly from how everyone was talking about ALL THE STAIRS I thought there would be more)  We’d go up the stairs and then across the either seats or behind the seats and then down again.

 

 

that’s Jeff at the back of the group of us walking across.

 

 

the group of us catching our breath at the top

 

 

walking between the seats (I have big bruises on the outside of my thighs from knocking into the seats over and over)

 

 

At one point we were heading down, and I could look over and see that there was a million more (in my head it accounted to a million) ups and downs and I was tired and getting hungry and we hadn’t gotten any where near done (this was close to the end but in my mind we weren’t even half done). Going up the stairs wasn’t as hard as going down. The stairs were uneven and in some places with the shadows (and my glasses being tinted  in the cold it took forever to change back when we went inside and stuff) it was difficult for me to tell where I was at. I was getting super frustrated and dismayed and feeling like I should just give up because I was sore and tired and hungry. But I had a team to support. And I made a promise to my nerds to try my hardest.

So I put my hands in the air and started speaking scripture to myself. I told myself that I was MORE than a conqueror. I told myself that it wasn’t even half a thing and I can do all things! I told myself over and over that it was nothing that the Spirit in me couldn’t’ handle and help me through. More than anything though I just repeated I am more than a conqueror. I started a smile. Then a giggle. By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs I had myself so tickled that I was full out laughing. I got some funny looks from others as I was catching up to Jim. I just looked at him and said more than a conqueror when he asked if I was ok. And from then on out it was just one stair. Then one more stair. Then one stair. I had the stairs in the bag.

 

The herculean hoist. This one was my obstacle. This was the obstacle we volunteered at when we were at wintergreen. We spent 8 hours on this obstacle. Besides the carry heavy crap ones it’s one of the few I wasn’t worried about. So there’s a sandbag. Attached to a rope. That runs through a pulley. And down to the ground. The purpose is to lift it to the top and then set it down. Started hoisting mine and the guy was like you know you can just wrap it around your  waist and walk. OK. I start walking backwards and got almost to the end and lost my balance and fell on my hiney.  DID NOT DROP MY ROPE. Then walked the thing back in. Teros’ sister had some trouble so I helped her with the last bit od hers.

 

 

Then the Cargo net. I think this is the point where I was the most terrified. I am getting over a fear of heights. I can handle most things if I can see that my feet are on solid ground and that I am not likely to fall.

 

 

getting ready and psyching myself out. I am the one on the ground furthest left.

 

 

roughly a third of the way up

 

Jim stayed super close to me. About half way up there was a girl who pushed between us and I almost lost my balance. This was a cargo net made out of what felt like cargo straps that you use on your truck. It moved with EVERYTHING and not just my movement. When the girl shoved between us I about bit her. I was so angry because I almost fell.

 

 

almost there

 

 

This is where I kicked a guy in the face. Not on purpose. I had to swing to the side to get over and when I looked back to make sure I wasn’t going to hit anyone he wasn’t there. But he was rushing and trying to slide by me and I guess he miscalculated where I was putting myself. I am super glad I didn’t knock him off the net because we were super high.

 

Jeff on the cargo net

 

 

Interspersed throughout the race were random walls. We had a wall before we even got to the start line. Most of the walls were about my height. Those we did by having Jeff kneel and we stepped on him then someone helped the other leg over. At the beginning of the race I was able to just swing and fall and land. By the end I needed help on the other side. Jeff thinks they were about 5, 8, and 10 feet. I did ALL of the shortest walls. The 8 foot wall I attempted… and I could have gotten over it but as I got close I couldn’t figure out how to fall without hurting myself. So I bailed. Failed obstacle number four.

 

I have no idea at which point we came across the dugout.

 

 

 

 

cheesy spartan grin

 

 

I don’t think he was impressed

 

 

Then we come down onto the green and start around towards the finish. IT IS IN SIGHT! We come around to do the box jumps and what do I see but Steve and Staci and all our nerds who had been so gloriously cheering us on for so long in the cold.

 

 

I about burst into tears!!

 

We had to do 20 box jumps. At this point I was so tired that I stepped up and pulled my other leg up. Probably didn’t count as I didn’t stand ALL the way up. I don’t really care. I had both feet on the box. I did my first set of ten and stepped back for a minute to rest before finishing. Some lady stepped in and did hers. I had zero problem waiting long enough for her to finish.

 

Went around the corner to the rope climb. Jeff did mine. I had a pitch climber. I will leave it up to you guys my friends if you think this one counts as failed obstacle number five.

 

Then the Gauntlet

 

 

 

 

and the finish line

 

 

 

and yes I cried

 

and yes Jeff called me a waterbender and I got an “aww mom why you gotta cry”

 

but I did it

 

 

booya

 

We went to a bar and hung out with some nerds for a while. But all I could think about was food and the hot tub (I hadn’t eaten since breakfast) and I don’t really remember many people. I only hope I wasn’t to hangry grumpy.

 

 

ran into my favorite goober

 

 

 

a REALLY tall nerd

 

 

the top group is the nerds who ran. and the bottom is ALL the nerds 🙂 who were in the boston 🙂

 

here were 4156 women… and 8992 total… I wasn’t the slowest

I was second to last in my age group…

 

 

Back at the hotel we did the hot tub and then foods

 

 

(this got BLACK and hard and is my most painful injury)

 

 

my leg… this also got black and is black more than a week after the race

 

 

I could barely keep my eyes open as I ate/inhaled my chicken.

 

There was more stuffs… but I was so tired that I crashed hard and don’t remember it.

 

Sunday there was more hot tub

 

 

and then the boy and I went home

 

 

we had some interesting travel snacks. I had a couple chicken breasts and boy had oreos.

 

Sunday was HARD. I got up at 9am and we didn’t get home until 230 am monday. I had to work monday night so I went to sleep.

 

 

I was spartan strong at work 😉 somewhere I managed to bust up my lip… and my wrist was painful so I wrapped it…

 

 

fitbit stats from the day

 

 

 

 

so I guess it was closer to 60 flights of stairs. I still thought it would be more